Saturday, August 16, 2008

Bungy jump

When?: December 2006

In December 2006 I did a 10 day coach tour around the South Island of New Zealand. On the way to Queenstown we stopped off at Kawarau Bridge, home of Hackett's original 43m bungy.  I'd decided to do the jump in the morning and signed up on the list, but felt more and more nervous as we approached the site.  Rightly so, as it goes a little something like this:  

On arrival, you're asked to sign a disclaimer, you get weighed and are pointed in the direction of the bridge.  Your knees shake as you approach the ledge,and although the instructors try to be reassuring your heart is in your mouth as they strap your ankles together and attach them to the bungy cord. 

Finally it's "your time to shine".  You're asked to take "little baby penguin steps" to the edge of the ledge.  Then told to look at the camera and wave.  You hear all the gang from the coach cheer.  Then suddenly, "right then Jen, 1... 2... 3... BUNGY!". 


You're expecting a bit more instruction about technique.  A bit more warning.  You stand, frozen.  "Go on girl, push forward withyour legs and jump." 


Another countdown.  You can't chicken out again, everyone is watching. So,"1... 2... 3... BUNGY!". 

And off you go.  

The initial fall is incredible.  A real rush, like the sensation in your stomach when you go over the top in a rollercoaster.  Except you're not in a rollercoaster.  You feel like you're free falling, with the river below rushing towards your face, you're about to hit it then... boing!  And a very gentle sensation pulls you up, slowly, back towards where you cam from. 

The successive falls and rises are much more gentle and not so thrilling.  Eventually you come to a stop, and two men in a little inflatable dinghy come and gather you up, giggling hysterically and shaking from the adrenaline. 

You make your way up to the balcony where your friends are waiting for you with a beer.  You've earned it!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Go To A Football Game

Sheffield United 2 - Norwich 0

When?: 15 March 2008

My first visit to Bramall Lane yielded a satisfying finish for the Blades, though the match itself is reported far better than I could do (not really knowing about football) here.

As for my experience, we met at a city centre boozer at midday for some pre-drinks and a bit of fodder, before heading down to the Kop where we sat and drank some sneaky miniatures whilst watching the action. 

Although I was a bit out of my depth with some of the songs, I gamely sang along to others that Andrew had taught me, and shouted and swore at the players as applicable.  

I was also very glad that I acted as a lucky charm rather than a curse and the match went in their favour! All in all a very fun afternoon out, which I'll definitely repeat again.


Attend A Red Carpet Event

When?: 28 May 2008

Many thanks to a friend who works at Sheffield's Millennium Gallery, I was able to attend the red carpet opening of the Vivienne Westwood exhibition, together with my friend Mary-Jo.

We were in the illustrious company of Dame Vivienne herself (left), as well as "celebs" such as Fearne Cotton, Toyah Wilcox, Lee Sharpe and Kym Marsh (pictures of some of them here). Woo indeed. 

We attempted to get our photo taken on the red carpet, but they were having none of it.  Mary-Jo and I did however manage to drink our own bodyweight in free champagne.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Get A Tattoo

When?: 22 September 2007

"All the matter on Earth is star stuff. The carbon in our bodies, the iron in our blood, every bit of this fleshy human thing we are was made in stars... The stars made us possible through their rich and fertile exploding deaths. So we are made of stardust... When we look up and see the stars, we now know that their ancestors are ours as well. And we know that today's stars are still making the stuff of life in their fiery hearts all throughout the Universe." - James Thornton

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Abseil For Charity

When?: 7 July 2007

Where?: St Mary's Church, Bramall Lane, Sheffield

Have a Tarot Reading

When?: 7 July 2007

After the abseil we wandered around the Green Fair in the church and grounds and discovered a man doing tarot readings and palmistry, and I decided to get my cards read! The old chap doing it, Arthur Norris, was lovely and here is what he had to say:

In order to achieve all the happiness in the world, you have to master four different roads. I am going to tell you what those roads are, and you’re going to find that by and large, that most of it you already know, but I will confirm it you see!

The first road is this: it begins when you are very young and it continues all your days. It is called your destiny and it says you have to be a mother hen: warm, loving, reliable, responsible, you have to be there for the family, close friends, relatives, you have to be there to give a helping hand when they need it, a very strong character - kindness is strength. But you have to be careful, there are a couple of things you need to learn. One is not to interfere; stand back and let them make their mistakes, that’s how they learn. The other one is, you will be tempted to be a bit of a rule bender, which is alright if you don’t go too far. So, the first road, the road of responsibility.

The second road is the road of the sensitive. Somebody who doesn’t like quarrels and arguments, somebody who doesn’t like aggro, somebody who lacks confidence in themselves, thinking they’re a bit of a wimp. No, they’re very sensitive, which makes them very psychic! The more sensitive you are, the more psychic you are, you see? So the second road, the road of the sensitive: shy, hesitant, indecisive, a bit of a ditherer – the road of the sensitive.

The third road, and this is where it goes completely berserk, because the third road is the road of the raver, the party animal, the attention seeker, let’s dress to knock their eyes out! Very talented, creative and artistic abilities are there if she wants to use them. Also the road of the communicator, a wonderful talent for communication, spoken word, could easily be a journalist, writer or teacher or all three. Two things to learn: you’ve got to learn to admit it when you’re wrong and also money management I’m afraid. So that’s the third road. So let’s see what we’ve got: the road of responsibility, the road of the sensitive, the psychic, the road of the creator-communicator. One more road to go.

The fourth road, and this is where it gets tough, because the fourth road says this: you have to be prepared to give a helping hand to the rest of the world. The rest of the world! A humanitarian, sympathetic, compassionate, you’ve got to be there whenever you’re needed by whoever needs you. Now, you might think you are taken advantage of, people are using you rotten, you’re too soft for your own good - no, kindness is strength. And in a relationship, and you need to be loved to bits, he’s got to be strong enough for you, because you will be hell to live with! And you will do everything you can to push your luck and see what you can get away with, and you have got to have somebody who will let you get away with so much, until you go too far and he will say “Now listen madam, I love you to bits, but pack it in!”

Four roads: the road of responsibility, the road of sensitivity, the psychic, the road of the raver, the communicator and the road of the humanitarian. And all four are sat there. And what will happen, this will happen, when you have mastered all four different roads, you will find yourself in a situation, although it will take a lot of learning before it happens and don’t get impatient with yourself, the day will dawn when to your amazement, you will find you are using all four roads at the same time. You will find yourself doing something with your life, doing something in a way that no one else can, only you can do it. So you go outside and you shout “Geronimo!”, because you are on your way to your fulfilment. But don’t get impatient, it takes a lot of learning.

So now we can do the tarot reading. Which pack of cards do you think looks the nicest? (I pick a pack) That didn’t take long! You have to have the right cards you see, if you don’t like the look of the cards, they’ll not like you. Now, what we’ve got to do right now, is we have to get now right. Then when we’ve got now right, we can start thinking about the future, but the future is based in now. So what I want you to do is use both hands to muddle those cards up. Touch as many as you can, get your influence on them, wake them up, let them know you’re here. Then, when they feel right, just spread them out a bit. So now, you are going to do that again, but this time I want you to ask out loud, three times, so the cards can hear: “What’s my present situation?” (I ask). Now, you can’t go wrong, hand me any card, but hand it long ways.

Ah, bad news. We do need to spend a bit more time concentrating on money management. Now there’s a surprise! We need a bit more money in the bank, rainy day money, there should something unexpected go wrong. That’s alright, that’s our first level. Let’s go up to the second level. Three times out loud “What happens next?” (I ask). Hand me any card you like, hand it long ways, you can’t go wrong.

Your love life is going to take off madam! It’s going to be Geronimo! Remember, he’s got to be strong enough, if he lets you get away with it, it won’t work. So that’s brilliant. Let’s go up to the third level, “What else do I need to know?” (I ask). Hand me the card, you can’t go wrong.

Well, that’s lovely. What job are you doing? (I tell). Well, actually the tarot says that’s not too bad at the moment, but there are going to be some changes needed. You are on your way to actually getting a bit of peace of mind, and it’s very rare that people get peace of mind, so that’s brilliant. It says the time will come when you’re going to have to change your job and what job do you change it to? Anything at all that you find interesting. Money? The more money you have got, the more people you can help, so we know about managing money don’t we? And your lucky number to finish off with, is 9.

Now, you’re going to feel robbed and cheated, but I can tell you that you haven’t had a single bad card, and there’s an awful lot of pain and misery in there, but you haven’t got it. So, money management, a relationship on the way and peace of mind will be yours, which is brilliant, but as and when you can, a bit of money management please. Then, it’s all going to work out brilliant. I’m not making this up, if there had been anything bad I would have said, if it had been really bad I would have told you how to deal with it, but it’s all great stuff.

If you're interested in having a reading, Arthur Norris is based in Scunthorpe and his telephone number is: 01724 860384
Saturday, June 23, 2007

Kiss In The Rain

When?: 23 June 2007

You don't get the details... but this one is definitely worth doing!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Get Cautioned by the Police

When?: This one happened a few years ago, during the summer holiday after my second year at uni.

After a night out on the Jungle Juice in Felixstowe, Charlie, Mark, Jody, Birral and I begin the stomp back to Jody’s house. Mark and Jody have a habit of doing things to the garden in front of a dentist’s surgery in Walton, like covering up the lights illuminating the sign, but on this night they decide to do something nice instead by adding some colourful flora to it. We take a detour to the flowerbeds in front of the leisure centre, where they dig up a few geraniums and carry them in cupped hands all the way to the dentist’s. Once there, the call of nature distracts the boys who scarper off to an alley leaving me and Charlie with the flowers. We decide to begin planting them and have started digging when we hear an engine pull up behind us. Turning round we’re faced with a police van – eek, it looks like we’re being vandals, when really we’re performing a random act of kindness!

The policeman winds down the window:
Policeman - “What are you two doing?”
Us - “Um, we’re, er, planting geraniums. Y’see, their garden looks a bit plain… [rambling drunken explanation attempts are made]…”
P - “Right, well put them down and move along.”
U - “But if we don’t plant them they’ll die!”
P - “Put them down. I’m going to drive round the block and if you’re still here when I come back I’m taking you to the station for a formal caution.”

He drives off and we bolt!

And that is how I came to be cautioned for holding geraniums!
Monday, June 11, 2007

Donate Blood

I think I first gave blood when I was in sixth form, and donated successfully twice. However, the third time I went, I had inexplicably developed a blood and needle phobia and had a massive panic attack! They advised me not to go back again, which is really sad as it’s such a worthwhile thing to do.

So – everyone go and do it on my behalf, yay? Here's the link for information!

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